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Wednesday 3 April, 2019

We’re kicking off Spring with a terrifying film about being stuck at the bottom of the sea with only 5 minutes of oxygen, and the chance of rescue over 30 mins away…Last Breath is opening its run on Friday 5th April with an already sold out Q&A.

Over the first weekend of April we’ll have screenings of Children of the Snow Land, a documentary set in the In the High Himalayas of Nepal, where children are sent from their remote villages to a Buddhist monk-led school in Kathmandu. After a decade of being away, a group of 16-year-olds are making their journey home, but a catastrophic earthquake is looming. We’re also showing Soyalism, which investigates the global effect of the pork industry and soybean farming and reveals how big corporations and the industrialisation of the food industry is destroying our ecosystem.

On Sunday 7th April we have a special screening of The Faces We Lost, to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide. The Faces We Lost is one of few films to engage with Rwandans as users of images, rather than simply their subjects, and the screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director.

Director Jason Barker will be coming to Bertha DocHouse on Tuesday 9th April for a Q&A after a screening of his brilliant, personal film A Deal With the Universe. Warm, funny and intimate, the film tells the unconventional story of how he and his partner conceived and the complexities of gender identity.  

We have a UK premiere of the IDA-award-winning film Sky and Ground in which we join a family attempting to make their journey from a refugee camp in Thessaloniki to Berlin – on foot. The screening on Friday April 12th will be followed by a Q&A with the director hosted by the Chief International Anchor of CNN Christiane Amanpour.  

Over the second weekend of April we are teaming up with the Taiwan Film Festival to screen some documentary highlights for their programme, and their closing night event – a special short documentary programme with live music in the Renoir on Sunday 14th April.

This month’s On Photography film is The Witness, about the acclaimed Colombian photojournalist Jesus Abad Colorado. After the murders of his family in rural Colombia, Colorado picked up a camera and dedicated the next 25 years of his life to documenting Colombia’s war.

Over the Easter Holiday weekend we have two films that explore art and its ability to connect, or divide. The Miracle of the Little Prince hops from Morocco to Tibet to Scandinavia and El Savador, introducing us to translators who share their love of the children’s book, and how it’s provided a way for them to preserve endangered languages and cultures.

Narrated by Iggy Pop, The Man Who Stole Banksy explores the debates that followed the removal of a Banksy mural in Palestine. When a taxi driver sold the muralled wall on eBay, his moves triggered many questions; who owns art created without permission in public spaces? Why is Western art is so protected and revered? And did Banksy’s political statement translate to Palestinian culture or was it lost in translation?

In the last week of April we have Heartbound, a festival favourite which tells the story of a small fishing community in Denmark - where 926 Thai women are married to Danish men.  Former sex worker Sommai, moved to Thy to marry a Danish man and began helping other Thai women find love and security in Denmark.

We are also excited to launch our new strand Re:Dox, a monthly week of great repertory docs for which we will have an audience poll to decide on the final titles that play. We have all been deeply saddened to hear the news of the great Agnès Varda passing away, and have decided to celebrate her legacy by launching the strand with some of her brilliant documentary films; watch this space - and our social media – for an opportunity to cast your vote.

We round up April with a Sunday Session featuring documentary master Frederick Wiseman’s latest film Monrovia, Indiana. Wiseman’s film is a lyrical exploration of the significance of rural America, conflicting stereotypes and illustrates how values like community service, duty, spiritual life, generosity and authenticity are formed, experienced and lived.

Our final Q&A screening of the month is Irene’s Ghost, a beautiful and moving documentary that premiered at the BFI London Film Festival in October. Director Iain Cunningham does the detective work to get to know his mother, who died when he was a toddler. As Cunningham encounters long-lost relatives and Irene’s best friend, Lynn, he gets to know his mother through the stories they tell and Irene’s personality comes to life. Irene’s Ghost reflects on the world of memories you create, along with the ones you leave behind.